The best course of action was
to get a bone marrow donor, which in combination with chemotherapy had the best chance of working.
Stem cell transplants are tricky. They require a match that is close enough that your body doesn’t reject it but not so close that both of them harbor the same likelihood of having the disease, like identical twins.
At 4 years old, she had a big question to answer. Her parents told her how sick her brother was, and they let her know
she was the best (and maybe only) one who could help him. She didn’t hesitate. Her answer, Yeah, just let me know when you need me,” came quickly.
Although they are twins, they are fraternal twins which, fortunately, can give that close-enough-but-not-too-close match Bradley desperately needed.
After the medical procedure was over in early 2015, Charlie never complained of pain, and in fact,
she wore her bandage as a “badge of honor.” She wanted to show that she’d helped her brother.
In fact, just a week before school started, the twins were recognized as superheroes by the Chicago White Sox, getting to run the bases (in superhero capes!) and start the game with “Play ball!”
Bradley’s dad, Brian, said recently:
It became incredibly emotional to watch Bradley and Charlie board the bus the first day of school knowing that nine months ago, we had no idea if and when this day would come.”
Their mother told
People magazine: “We want him and Charlie to remember this time in their lives and how they were there for each other. The bond and the love they have as twins is now even stronger.”
Like blood relatives, you might say.
Here’s a recent clip featuring Mom, Dad, and the adorable twins from WGN9: